What is urethral stricture?
It is a narrowing that happen in the urethra (water pipe that transmits urine from the bladder through the penis).
What are the causes of urethral stricture?
Urethral stricture involves constriction of the urethra. This is usually due to tissue inflammation or the presence of scar tissue. Scar tissue can be a result of many factors. Young boys who have hypospadias surgery (a procedure to correct an underdeveloped urethra) and men who have penile implants have a higher chance of developing urethral stricture.
A straddle injury is a common type of trauma that can lead to urethral stricture. Examples of straddle injuries include falling on a bicycle bar or getting hit in the area close to the scrotum.
Other possible causes of urethral stricture include:
- pelvic fractures
- catheter insertion
- surgery performed on the prostate
- benign prostatic hyperplasia
Rare causes include:
a tumour located in close proximity to the urethra untreated or repetitive urinary tract infections the sexually transmitted infections (STIs) gonorrhea or chlamydia
What are the symptoms of urethral stricture?
Urethral stricture can cause numerous symptoms, ranging from mild to severe. Some of the signs of a urethral stricture include:
- weak urine flow or reduction in the volume of urine
- sudden, frequent urges to urinate
- a feeling of incomplete bladder emptying after urination
- frequent starting and stopping of urinary stream
- pain or burning during urination
- inability to control urination (incontinence)
- pain in the pelvic or lower abdominal area
- urethral discharge
- penile swelling and pain
- presence of blood in the semen or urine
- darkening of the urine
- inability to urinate (this is very serious and requires immediate medical attention)
How is urethral stricture diagnosed?
Through Flow test and Flexible Cystoscopy
What are the treatment methods for urethral stricture?
Surgery is another option. An open urethroplasty is an option for longer, more severe strictures. This procedure involves removing affected tissue and reconstructing the urethra. Results vary based on stricture size.
In some cases, widening of the stricture with special dilators or cutting the stricture with lasers may be required.
MORE ABOUT URETHRAL STRICTURES
What is urethral stricture?
When a narrowing takes place in the urethra it is often referred to as a urethral structure. It is a condition found in males where the urethra that transmits urine to the penis suddenly becomes smaller. It can be caused by scar tissue or tissue inflammation, even a straddle injury can lead to this condition. A straddle injury may not necessarily mean a sexual injury but for example, falling off the bicycle or getting hit in the scrotum.A urethral structure can also be caused by a number of other reasons. For example, catheter insertion, pelvic fracture and prostate surgery. There are four types of urethral strictures.
- Iatrogenic - which is caused by medical treatment for a different condition
- Idiopathic – cause unknown
- Inflammatory – inflammation in the urethra
- Traumatic - injury that damages the urethra
- Weak flow of urine
- Frequent urge to urinate
- Pain during urination
- Urethral discharge
- Penile pain
- Blood in the urine